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Old 07-11-2010, 07:32 PM
440turner 440turner is offline
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Default 44 Mag plinking load w/240 gr lead swc

I just got a bag of 240 lead swc's with no gas check for my 44 mag and want to make some plinking loads. I have a few loading manuals and I have a page from Speer that has this bullet listed with 6.5 to7 grains of Unique, all the other books I have list the starting load for this bullet at about 10 grains. My question is, has anyone else loaded these similar bullets to the lower amounts? Im thinking about loading a few batches at the 7 grains of Unique does anyone think that I will see any issues? The gun im intending on shooting with this load will be my 629-1 made in 89'.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:09 PM
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That is basicly a .44 special load which is fine should shoot great in your 629.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:31 PM
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I have done a lot of research on this subject for my 629 with the 8 3/8" barrel. For me, I like to keep the loads around 850 fps. These are in order of accuracy I use; 6.5 grs. of 231 or hp38 then 6grs. of WST, then 7grs. of Auto Comp. The Unique loads you use are good ones too. I just like the area around 850 fps, both in 44 mag. cases and 44 Special cases. I just use 1/2 to a grain less in the 44 Special case to get the most accuracy. I don't know why, but that's what I have found over the years.
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:45 PM
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I like 7.5gr Unique.
Kevin
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Old 07-11-2010, 10:45 PM
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I just primed 150 cases and plan to load them in the next couple of days, I think im going to stick with the 7 grains of Unique as I stated above.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:21 PM
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Last year I started using 8.0of Unique with cast 240swc's and they work great for me. However they are not used in a S&W---sorry guys--- my only 44 mags are Rugers. Old Model Super Blackhawk and a 50th Anniversary Flattop.
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Old 07-12-2010, 12:26 AM
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I like 7.5 gr. Unique, 9.0 gr. for a little more umph. Both are nice loads and are accurate in my M/29's.
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:32 AM
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I don't see an issue. But I wonder if you want to be down in the 800fps range and then jump up to 1400fps with real ammo. Your POI is going to shift considerably. Your 629 is plenty heavy enough to be "soft" shooting with 1000-1100fps with a 240gr.
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 440turner View Post
I just got a bag of 240 lead swc's with no gas check for my 44 mag and want to make some plinking loads. I have a few loading manuals and I have a page from Speer that has this bullet listed with 6.5 to7 grains of Unique, all the other books I have list the starting load for this bullet at about 10 grains. My question is, has anyone else loaded these similar bullets to the lower amounts? Im thinking about loading a few batches at the 7 grains of Unique does anyone think that I will see any issues? The gun im intending on shooting with this load will be my 629-1 made in 89'.
Sir, FWIW, I tried the load you describe during my own .44 mag experiments and was not impressed. Lots of smoke, only so-so accuracy. I found 8.5 grains of Unique with the cast 240 to produce less smoke and much better accuracy. Another sweet spot is 10.0 grains of Unique, though IMHO it's a little stout for plinking.

Hope this helps, and Semper Fi.

Ron H.
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:56 AM
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I have given up on light loads with Unique. Very position sensitive,
dirty and inconsistant velocities. I get good accuracy and consistancy
with 6.2 grs Bullseye and 250 gr cast bullets in my 4" 29-2 at 830 fps.
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Old 07-12-2010, 07:31 AM
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My favorite .44 Mag plinking load is 8 gns of Universal Clays and a cast bullet from 215-250 gns. very accurate and burns cleaner that Unique.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:22 AM
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When shooting on an indoor range I have loaded 3.5 gr. and 5.0 gr. of Bullseye under a 240/250 gr. SWC , I used a pea sized piece of Kapok to hold the powder back in contact with the primer. Either load is a real *****cat, useful when training ladies and younsters.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:43 AM
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I use 5grs of Bullseye with the 240-250gr SWC.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:51 AM
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I do agree with the lots of smoke comment, anything to lesson smoke cloud would be best, Unique also seems to dirty my gun much more than other powders but I was lead to believe that the culprit for the smoke was usually the bullet lube. I have a container of Unique,Bullseye and also 2400 but I picked the Unique because it seems to meter better for me than Bullseye wich is what I have been using in my 45 acp loads. Im thinking about (3) batches of loads varying the powder from 7 to 9 grains, I will see what benefits each end of the spectrum on this load gives me, thanks for all the replies
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:25 PM
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To reduce smoke I tried to increase the load for more efficient combustion. That worked, but the smoke was still unplesant, so I investigated lubes and found White Label brand.

Looking over their offerings, I settled on BAC which is good to 2500fps. so I could also use it in rifle loads.

Using 7g W231, a cast 250g lyman 429421 and White Label BAC, I get much reduced smoke and a fine 900fps plinking load that can also be used to hunt.

Additionally, White Label sells this lube in bulk and an option to have it shipped in baggies to further reduce cost. Far better than Javalina or Lyman IMO.
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:46 PM
Skip Sackett Skip Sackett is offline
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A have used as low as 4.5gr of Bullseye with a 210gr - 240gr LSWC for a super easy shooting round.

I have to admit though, most of my 44mag stuff is on the other end of the spectrum!
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Old 07-12-2010, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin G View Post
I like 7.5gr Unique.
Kevin
+1 on this load.

I have used this for years and it has always given me good accuracy.

Having said that I have loaded some with 7.0 grains for my wife to use and they work fine also.
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:19 PM
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I have several .44 Specials as well as several .44 Magnums. I shoot them all.

Because of having the Specials, I don't need to download my .44 Magnums. If I want plinking loads or field loads I carry a .44 Special loaded with Skeeter's load of 7.5 grs of Unique behind a 250 gr Keith.

However, if I WANTED to shoot a similar load in the .44 Magnums, I would suggest that Titegroup should be an excellent choice. It is NOT position sensitive and according to Hodgdon's data, you should get about 850-900 fps in a 4-6" revolver. Keep in mind that Hodgdon's velocity shown is from a pressure barrel (not a revolver) so their loads will show somewhat faster speeds than you will realize in the "real world".

Dale53
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:29 PM
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I'm getting good results with a little over 9 grains of Unique (it's a load I saw recommended by Brian Pearce in Handloader) in my 6" M29.
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Old 07-12-2010, 08:06 PM
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I use 8.0 gr. of 800X & 240 gr. swc or rn bullets for plinking loads in my both of my 629s. Works for me!
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:56 PM
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30 years ago I settled on 8.5gr of Unique or 8gr. of 231 with Lyman 429421 cast from wheel weights as my everyday load. These loads are good for 900fps in my 6 inch M29-2. Powerful enough to punch through the chest of Black Bears and pleasant to shoot all afternoon. Load was passed on to me from FrankV who is as good a sixgunner you could hope to meet and knows his way around a loading bench. Good Luck
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Old 07-12-2010, 11:17 PM
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8.0 gr Unique or Universal Clays; don't know the velocity but very pleasant to shoot, plus will go almost all the way through a washing machine at 100 yards. Lands with a real nice "thunk" and you can shoot them all day long without destroying your nerves.
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Old 07-13-2010, 08:54 AM
440turner 440turner is offline
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I have decided to "bump" up my charge to the 7.5 to 9 grains, I will try charges throughout this powder weight and see wich one suits me best, thanks again for all the replies
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Old 07-13-2010, 11:37 AM
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In my experience 7.5 gr. of Unique is a load that I can shoot all day, 9.0 gr. has a little more punch but not enough to be uncomfortable. I usually take a box or two of both loads when I visit the shooting range with my M/29's.
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Old 07-13-2010, 04:07 PM
Acorn1754 Acorn1754 is offline
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My favorite is 6.5 grains of Red Dot with a 240 Grain LCRN. It chronos at 960 fps out of my 10 5/8" 29-3 and shoots very clean.
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:38 PM
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A 240 grn. SWC over 8.0 grains of Unique has proven to be a very accurate load in my 6.5 inch 29-2. It's given me a perfect 500 out of 500 score in a local bullseye match, and it shoots to the same POI as my heavy load of a 240 grn JHP over 19.0 grains of 2400.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:21 AM
44Steve 44Steve is offline
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Hi,Steve here. Be carefull of leading in the forcing cone. The hardness of none gas checked bullets have caused me broblems in the past with 44,mag loads.Rarely in 44spl.

Last edited by 44Steve; 07-14-2010 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 07-15-2010, 10:46 AM
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Here are a couple I like and use...

240gr Laser Cast SWC
7gr. Tight Group
WLP
Mixed Brass
Firm Crimp
(outstanding load in 29-5 and ruger SBH)-new range load
970 fps w/S&W Model 29-5 six inch
1,000 fps w/Ruger 7.5 inch SBH


240gr. LFPBB Keith Style
8gr. Unique
Win Primers
Mixed Brass
Solid Crimp
FPS: 920 f.p.s.
(S&W 29-5 w/6")

240gr LSWC--Speer
7gr Unique
WLP
Mixed Brass
Medium Crimp
1.600 OAL
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Old 07-18-2010, 11:45 AM
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my 44 mag plinking load is 8.0 gr of unique, 7.5 in 44 spec
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:16 PM
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For plinking I generally shoot 7.5 gr of Unique with a 250 gr LSWC bullet. Seems to shoot fine for me.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:17 PM
44caliberkid 44caliberkid is offline
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8 grs unique with 245 SWC outta 629-2 8 3/8 always did me good.
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Old 07-27-2010, 09:52 PM
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8.0 grains of Unique with a 245 grain lead SWC gives 949 fps from my 8 3/8-inch Model 29 and fine accuracy. My favorite light .44 Magnum load.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 440turner View Post
I just got a bag of 240 lead swc's with no gas check for my 44 mag and want to make some plinking loads. I have a few loading manuals and I have a page from Speer that has this bullet listed with 6.5 to7 grains of Unique, all the other books I have list the starting load for this bullet at about 10 grains. My question is, has anyone else loaded these similar bullets to the lower amounts? Im thinking about loading a few batches at the 7 grains of Unique does anyone think that I will see any issues? The gun im intending on shooting with this load will be my 629-1 made in 89'.
When you say "lead",I'm not sure if you have swaged (lead) or cast.

If pure lead,barrel leading may be an issue which is why you see very light loads listed by Speer in their swaged non jacketed 240 swc.

If cast,the bullet is probably much harder (alloy) and greater velocity can be acheived without leading issues.

This is why you're getting mixed messages.
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Old 08-10-2010, 10:38 PM
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Tried 5.5 W231 with 245 SWC seated deep with light crimp on front shoulder with good results. Next load planned is 5 gr Titegroup for plicking with 629 4". 9 gr Unq is fine med load.

Tommy
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tommy F View Post
Tried 5.5 W231 with 245 SWC seated deep with light crimp on front shoulder with good results. Next load planned is 5 gr Titegroup for plicking with 629 4". 9 gr Unq is fine med load.

Tommy
See load data section - your TG load of 5gr is pretty light.

329pd information
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Old 10-09-2018, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron H. View Post
Sir, FWIW, I tried the load you describe during my own .44 mag experiments and was not impressed. Lots of smoke, only so-so accuracy. I found 8.5 grains of Unique with the cast 240 to produce less smoke and much better accuracy. Another sweet spot is 10.0 grains of Unique, though IMHO it's a little stout for plinking.

Hope this helps, and Semper Fi.

Ron H.
I've loaded more than one box of the Speer 240 gr SWC in the 44 Mag. Once you have her dialed, it's a really nice load, very little leading, if any at all, and pretty accurate. I've never found Universal (almost like Unique) to be all that good. Powder position is an issue, more so in the 44 mag case than the Spl case. I've settled on a 800+ fps load, (7.2 gr) of Trail Boss and a Remington 2 1/2 primer. With this powder, the Rem 2 1/2 is the winner.High single digit Es most of the time. It works in a slow twist oversized bore Marlin rifle as well as in Ruger Vaquero hip guns. Trail Boss is a low(ish) power powder, gives low velocity, but is higher in pressure than other powders, for equal velocity. It seems to be able to give soft lead bullets a gentle bump, without driving them past or over the rifling. The concave base on the Speer bullet helps as well, IMO. Funky bullet, but when powder/primer choice is right, it works well. Within reason, bore, groove and throat dimensions are not factors.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:08 PM
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5.5 to 6 GR of 231 is sweet.
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Old 10-09-2018, 05:31 PM
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44 Mag plinking load w/240 gr lead swc 44 Mag plinking load w/240 gr lead swc 44 Mag plinking load w/240 gr lead swc 44 Mag plinking load w/240 gr lead swc 44 Mag plinking load w/240 gr lead swc  
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Originally Posted by 440turner View Post
I just got a bag of 240 lead swc's with no gas check for my 44 mag and want to make some plinking loads. I have a few loading manuals and I have a page from Speer that has this bullet listed with 6.5 to7 grains of Unique, all the other books I have list the starting load for this bullet at about 10 grains. My question is, has anyone else loaded these similar bullets to the lower amounts? Im thinking about loading a few batches at the 7 grains of Unique does anyone think that I will see any issues? The gun im intending on shooting with this load will be my 629-1 made in 89'.
IMHO---YOU SHOULD HAVE NO ISSUES WITH THE 7 GRAINS OF UNIQUE.....

THERE IS NO NEED FOR A MORE POWERFUL LOAD FOR PLINKING......
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  #39  
Old 10-10-2018, 01:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 440turner View Post
I just got a bag of 240 lead swc's with no gas check for my 44 mag and want to make some plinking loads. I have a few loading manuals and I have a page from Speer that has this bullet listed with 6.5 to7 grains of Unique, all the other books I have list the starting load for this bullet at about 10 grains. My question is, has anyone else loaded these similar bullets to the lower amounts? Im thinking about loading a few batches at the 7 grains of Unique does anyone think that I will see any issues? The gun im intending on shooting with this load will be my 629-1 made in 89'.
the Devil is in the details.
The Speer data sounds a lot like the Hornady data, both of which are for a swaged lead SWC, not a cast SWC.
Using cast affords a little more room on the pedal
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:55 PM
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Cool, an eight year old zombie post...

But, still a valid question. MY favorite mid-range .44 mag load is a 240 grain cast SWC over 6.5 grains of Red Dot and a standard primer. About 925 fps, depending on the gun. My real affection for this load is because of its consistency. If I try hard enough, I can find individual loads in my dozen or so .44 mag handguns that might be a little more accurate, but the Red Dot load is consistently accurate across the board in all my guns, and saves a lot of effort trying to work up loads for each gun that will at best, be fractionally more accurate than the Red Dot load.

Larry
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  #41  
Old 10-12-2018, 06:49 AM
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Thanks for the above tip. I have four Model 29s and was kinda dreading the process of working up a load for each one of them.

I’ll give that recipe a try and see how it goes as well in all of them.
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Old 10-12-2018, 08:30 AM
stansdds stansdds is offline
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44 Magnum cases, large pistol primers (magnum primers not required), a hard cast 240 grain LSWC bullet and somewhere between 7.0 and 9.0 grains of Unique you will likely find a very accurate and very pleasant to shoot load.
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Old 10-12-2018, 03:36 PM
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while the zombie post specifically outlines components, since the shortages and other issues, Ive adopted a policy of using lighter bullets in these easy shooting "plinking" loads. Lead is as much a commodity as any other in this game.
Mine is a 215 grain SWC from Lee molds, powder coated, and propelled with unique, power pistol, or CFE pistol.
It's not a bad idea to diversify this load in terms of propellants. History has proven that "subject to availability" applies in a blink of an eye.
44 magnum is far too useful a cartridge to not invest some extra R&D into.
Options A, B, and C should extend into as much of the alphabet as practical and be engineered with a mind towards being employed off the range, not confined to the feral paper game often found there.
smoke em while ya got em and get that work done.
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Old 10-12-2018, 09:02 PM
Qc Pistolero Qc Pistolero is offline
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Unique is probably the powder that's the most appropriate for the most calibers in use today as it was yesterday.
I think that Unique and .44 Magnum are a most beautiful couple and go very well in the same combo;anything between 7 and 10 grains depending if you want ''bing'' or ''medium boom''will give you satisfactory velocity and accuracy.If not,I'd first look at the quality or mechanical integrity of the gun.
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  #45  
Old 10-13-2018, 07:25 PM
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Try the 7.5 gr Unique load or 8.0 gr of Power Pistol. That should fill the bill.
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Old 10-13-2018, 07:43 PM
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I use to use Red Dot on 240SWC Hp. plain base. In 3screw SBH.
Shot good but was dirty load. Then we got Gas Check mold and
went to 2400 powder and a good bit hotter loads. Now I load the
SBH with 240 JHPs/ 22.5g of 2400- hunting load. In 29s cast
240s & Unique, target loads. I don't thrash 29s with hot loads or
any of my S&Ws.
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